15 Most Frightening Greek Mythology Creatures

scary Greek Mythology Creatures
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There is a reason why civilization chose to distance itself from nature. Nature is terrifying.

The Ancient Greeks were fully aware of this, and their connections between human life and the natural world gave birth to some bizarre mythological creatures.

So, slam down a shot of ouzo, this ride of 15 Greek mythology monsters will be freaky!

1. The Minotaur

He’s part man, part bull, and full-on nightmare.

He was so horrific that King Minos ordered a giant labyrinth to be built to house the creature. Here’s the weird part. The Minotaur is the King’s stepson.Minos was supposed to sacrifice a super fancy bull to Poseidon, but he didn’t. As punishment, Aphrodite made King Minos’ wife Pasiphe fall in lust with that bull. The bull evidently reciprocated these feelings and we are left with the Minotaur, a ghastly beast. King Minos actually tried to feed and care for the creature like a father until he hit puberty. Then King Minos ordered the labyrinth built.

2. Cerberus

This one taps right into the primal fear of wolves.

Cerberus is a mean, giant dog with three heads and a serpent for a tail. He protects Hades, the realm of the dead. If a dead person attempts to escape from the Underworld, Cerberus eats him. Thus making him double dead, I suppose - that’s what happens if a dog eats your soul.

Cerberus is no nicer to the living. He eats living people who attempt to enter Hades. Artists often depicted this triple-headed beast with some element of fire or magma involved in his constitution. Some artists depict Cerberus with snakes coming out of his back.

Interesting Facts:

  • Some artists and storytellers depicted Cerberus with 50 heads!
  • He has a giant serpent for a tail.

3. Harpies

Birds with human faces. Imagine it. Imagine that seam where the human face ends and the bird form begins.

The Harpies do the bidding of a trio of goddesses known as the Erinnyes. If you break an oath or are guilty of evil-doing, plan on some Harpies to take you to justice before the Erinnyes.

Interesting Facts:

  • Many artists depict the Sirens of the Odyssey as becoming Harpies and singing their songs while they fly right up to Odysseus’s face.
  • Harpies were used by Zeus to punish a blinded King Phineas by stealing his food on an island that Zeus banished him to. There was lots of food there… for the Harpies!
  • Harpies bring stormy weather to ships at sea. Good luck staying above the surface!
  • Harpies were known for their horrific stench. Do your nightmares come in smell-o-vision?

4. Satyr

Part human, part goat, and add a squeeze of horse. Ancient Greeks were creative in their beastiality.

Remember the story of King Midas? Well, the whole curse came about because Midas was kind to a Satyr. There’s a reason why Christian artists depict Satan in the form of a Satyr.Wherever they go, trouble follows.

Also, the Satyr is a nature spirit, so if you want the woods to trap you or to get caught in a lightning storm, just piss off a Satyr. They’re tricky, playing jokes on humans, even the nice ones. And, we’re talking Loki level jokes. No whoopie cushions were used with these guys.

Interesting Facts:

  • They’re the visual inspiration for Satan.
  • They hang with the god Dionysus, god of revelry/wine/general hedonism. He’s not known for playing it safe.
  • They are often depicted with raging boners since they were often associated with fertility.

5. Centaurs

Half human, half horse. The product of...you guessed it. Human/horse beastiality.

Centaurs were generally considered less monstrous than the other beasts on this list, probably due to humanity's cohabitation withhorses. One particular centaur, Chiron,was tutored by Appollo himself and passed on his teachings to the other characters in Greek myth.He tutored Aesclepius in medicine, and Aesclepius is the source of the staff/snake symbol we see on nearly every ambulance today.

Interesting Facts:

  • Chiron had immortality. Was that true of the other Centaurs?
  • Thanks to their human halves, they are able to build their own weapons.
  • They ruin weddings.

6. Charon

Not your average river guide.

Normally a ferryman would not appear on a list of feared monsters. However, this ferryman is the one that carries the souls of the dead across the River Styx to Hades.Now, we know that Hades is not Hell. It is just a world for the dead that is separate from the world of the living. There is no eternal torment. However, if the dead person is buried without a coin to pay this ferryman, they are left on the shores of the River Styx to wander stuck in a limbotic state neither dead nor alive. And you thought that getting the boot on your tire for the parking violation was bad.

Interesting Facts:

  • Many artists depict Charon to look like the Grim Reaper
  • He is the son of the deep darkness known as Erebus
  • He will turn that boat around

7. Hydra

All hail this horrifying beast.

This three (or more) headed dragon that brings unstoppable terror will take down the most fierce of your clan’s warriors. According to myth, if you cut off one head, two more will grow in its place. Imagine the sounds it makes when the bloody dragon neck stump twitches and squirts, and then through the squirting bones crack and burst through.

With Tyrannosaurus level teeth, this is a beast you should not contend with.

Interesting Facts:

  • Only one head is mortal, miss that one and you’re dealing with several more heads.
  • This thing will spit acid at you like the frilled dinosaur in Jurassic Park!
  • It blood is poisonous too, so even a successful hit can be dangerous.

8. The Chimera

OK, but how does she poop?

Part lion, part goat, part snake, the Chimera was a three-headed fire-breathing beast who destroyed the countryside of Lycia. According to myth, she killed livestock and innocent peasants. She was occasionally depicted with wings and/or flying.

9. The Sphinx

DC Comics has the Riddler and Greek Mythology had the Sphinx.

If you don’t solve the riddle, the Greek Sphinx would sentence you to death by her claws. Ancient Egypt had a sphinx too, but that’s a nice Sphinx, a Sphinx that guarded stuff and made the people feel secure. The Greek Sphinx on the other hand, came with working wings and a snake for a tail.

Walk by the Egyptian Sphinx and you’ll feel a sense of wonder, walk by the Greek Sphinx in Thebes and you’ll feel your brain get scratched out of its skull for answering the riddle incorrectly.

Interesting Facts:

  • The Sphinx killed the son of King Creon for guessing the riddle wrong. She doesn't care who your daddy is.
  • The Sphinx was sent to Thebes as a punishment by the God of War, Ares.
  • Despite herenormous size, this Sphinx could indeed fly.

10. Circe

What would a monster list be without the inclusion of some witchcraft?

Imagine her eyes becoming like mist as she transforms men into wild animals. Odysseus had a front row seat to such a show. Circe waved her wand and transformed his loyal crew members into wild swine.

A true terror, Circe is supposedly a beautiful witch with divine heritage. She knows about the other monsters in this mythology and how to defeat them. Hopefully you’re on her good side.

Interesting Facts:

  • She actually has divine heritage. She’s the daughter of the sun god and a sea nymph.
  • She knows about all of the other monsters and how to defeat them. I hope you’re on her good side.
  • She is the Minotaur’s aunt.

11. King Midas

Like Gollum from Lord of the Rings Midas didn’t start off as a monster, but he became one.

His greed combined with a supernatural power led to deadly results.

When he realized that he was cursed, he got emotional and his loving daughter embraced him. That loving daughter, you guessed it, was transformed into gold.

Thus, we are led to imagine what the human body must feel as it hardens into gold. Imagine trying to take one last breath only to discover that your lungs are already as stiff as metal. The condition then crawls up your throat, and freezes your face solid.

Remember that the story starts with King Midas being rich already. He was warned by his gods and ignored them. The 1% really need to get a lesson in gratitude.

12. The Charybdus

A whirlpool so dark and fearsome it needed to be named.

A whirlpool so dark and fearsome it needed to be named.Rather than face this beast, Odysseus chose to sail closer to a six-headed dragon instead. There are no fancy tricks to beat this one, no appealing to the godlike ego. Moreover, whirlpools exist outside Greek myth. This “beast” is real.

13. The Scylla

A waterborne hydra?

While avoiding the deadly whirlpool known as The Charybdus, Odysseus ran into a six-head sea dragon called the Scylla. This creature had absolutely no problem devouring six humans in a flash.

Imagine avoiding a giant whirlpool only to have giant daggers of fangs crush your spine and rip you out of the boat that was your only hope of anything. A cold reptile, this dragon cares about only one thing, when its next meal is coming.

It makes its nest on a rock that is very close to the Charybdus forcing people to choose how they want to die.

14. The Cyclops

In The Odyssey, the protagonist, Odysseus, spends some time with his crew on the island of the Cyclops looking for goats to eat. The Cyclops came out of a cave and ate two of Odysseus’s crew members. Then it imprisoned Odysseus and the rest of his crew.

The Cyclops is a one-eyed giant which in itself is grotesque and worthy of horror. But, what earned him a place on this list was that after he ate two of Odysseus’s men, the Cyclops decided to chat and get drunk with Odysseus.

Imagine a monster eating one of your best friends only to then share some words and wine with you that evening.

Interesting Facts:

  • The main Cyclops is the son of Poseidon, so you know that hurting him led to some oceanic misfortune for Odysseus.
  • People look like mere turkeys when sized up next to the Cyclops.
  • There’s a whole community of these things.

15. Medusa

Medusa used to be human, but Poseidon raped her in Athena's temple, and then Athena cursed her in a fit of jealous rage. Snakes for hair.

That alone makes Medusa the Gorgon one of the more grotesque creations in all of literature. Now couple that with the ability to turn people into stone just by looking them in the eye, and you now have a horror classic.

Interesting Facts:

  • The snakes in her hair are venomous.
  • Medusa is vengeful since she was cursed by Athena for something that really wasn't her fault. Talk about victim blaming.
  • Sometimes, Medusa is depicted with wings. This snake lady can fly!
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Nurse, writer, dog whisperer. Real-life druid. Reading this article provides +2 constitution bonus for 24 hours.
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papercutssuck 2 years 1 month ago

It's okay, I wasn't planning on sleeping anyway...

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